KOHLER, WI 53044PERMIT NO. 6
219 Church St., Kohler, WI 53044
Survey says . . . results are in
Residents value small community atmosphere and green space
By Kevin Struck,University of Wisconsin-Extension
The Village of Kohler recently askedSheboygan County UW-Extension to createand distribute a citizen opinion survey tofind out how residents feel about a varietyof local issues. Just under 41 percent of thesurveys, which were mailed to every house-hold, were returned. This is an excellentresponse rate for a community survey. Theresults have now been tabulated. This is thefirst of a three-part article summarizing theresponses to each of the questions on thesurvey. Residents who wish to see the com- plete results can obtain a copy of the tabu-lated survey from the Village Clerk’s office.The first question on the survey was sim- ple but important.
Why do you choose tolive in the Village of Kohler?
Out of the 18 potential choices, the top four responseswere “Village appearance,” “Small commu-nity atmosphere,” “Safety/feeling of securi-ty,” and “Quietness/serenity.” The fewestresponses were for “Senior activities” and“Availability of affordable land.”Afollow-up question with the same 18choices asked residents to
Please rate the following as they relate to your quality of life in Kohler.
The responses to this ques-tion echoed the results for Question 1.Question 3 asked
What one thing or value in the Village of Kohler should be preserved for future generations?
This wasan open-ended question with a variety of written responses. Of the approximately320 responses, the major themes were“Small town atmosphere,” and “Greenspace.”The next two questions focused on the potential types of future development.
If you could control the future, which oneterm would you select to describe theVillage of Kohler in 20 years?
Choices andtheir response rates were “Business commu-nity” (0 percent); “Industrial community”(0.5 percent); “Tourism/destination commu-nity” (5.8 percent); “Residential communi-ty” (33 percent); and “An appropriate mixof all of the above” (57.4 percent).
Which of the following do you prefer for the Village of Kohler?
“Residentialgrowth” was preferred (26 percent), fol-lowed by “Business growth that serves pri-marily local residents” (22 percent);“Business growth that attracts out of townvisitors/tourists” (16.9 percent); “Office park” (12.1 percent); “No growth” (9.8 per-cent); “Light industrial” (7 percent);“Other” (4 percent); and, lastly, “Heavyindustrial” (2.2 percent).Residents were then asked whether theyagreed with the speed of population, resi-dential, business, and job growth in theVillage over the previous two years.
Pleaserate the speed of growth in the following categories in the Village of Kohler.
“Rightamount” was by far the highest response inthe population growth category (55.4 per-cent), followed by “Somewhat too slow”(11.8 percent.) Regarding residentialgrowth, “Right amount” was again first(47.1 percent), followed by “Somewhat toofast” (21.2 percent). Business growth wasalso considered to be the “Right amount”(56.5 percent), with the second response being “Somewhat too slow” (20.4 percent).Finally, most respondents answered “Don’tknow” (42.7 percent) regarding job growth,while 32 percent thought it had been the“Right amount.”Aseries of questions about housing werethen asked, starting with
If the Village of Kohler should continue to grow, what kinds of residential growth would you pre- fer to be allowed?
Eleven choices wereoffered. “Single-family residential” came infirst (28.5 percent), followed by “Housingfor senior citizens” (16.2 percent), and“Condominiums” (11 percent). The leastsupport was offered for “Multi-familyapartment” (1.6 percent), “Large-scale con-dominiums/resort” (1.6 percent), and“Mobile home park for retirees” (0.2 per-cent).According to Census data, a large por-tion of America’s population is approachingretirement; therefore a question related tosenior housing was asked.
As the popula-tion ages and lifestyles change, which oneof the following should the Village of Kohler pursue to address senior citizenhousing needs?
Amajority of respondents(60.6 percent) checked “Plan to provide for senior citizen housing within the Village of Kohler.” However, over one-quarter (27 percent) felt the Village should “Do noth-ing.” No other response was higher than 5 percent.Residents were then asked about rental property conversions in the Village.
Recently, a numberof single-family resi-dences within the village have been con-verted to rental properties. If this trendcontinues, would you be concerned?
78.5 percent answered “Yes.” When asked towrite what their concerns were, most peo- ple cited the upkeep of the property.Perhaps anticipating the response in the previous question, residents were asked to“Strongly agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree,” or “Strongly disagree” with this statement:
Inorder to maintain the aesthetics/appear-ance of the village, a property mainte-nance ordinance is needed.
44.1 percentagreed and 32 percent strongly agreed. Atotal of only 15.4 disagreed or strongly dis-agreed. 6.3 percent had no opinion, and 2.2 percent did not respond.Continuing on this theme, the next ques-tion asked
What is the one best thingKohlervillage government can do to pro-tect values/home worth?
The over 300responses to this open-ended question typi-cally included “Maintain the high standardthat exists now,” “Create an environmentwhere residents have incentives to invest intheir property,” and “Limit rental proper-ties.”The next issue of
The Kohler Villager
will summarize survey questions related totransportation, utilities, and communityfacilities/services.
Open green space,such as this parcel on the Village’s west side, is one of the amenities valued by Kohler residents